I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Friday, 15 January 2016

Hidden in a book

Hello all!  When I did my PaperArtsy round-up before Christmas, I promised you more details of the project I shared there.  It was my task to select creations by the Designers and by entrants from three of the PaperArtsy challenge themes from last year - Niches, Sprays and Words.  Then, time permitting, I had the option of creating a new piece which combined all three themes.  Well, there's nothing like a challenge to get my mind buzzing, and this is where it took me.


These days I reach for old books more and more often, both for altering and for journalling.  Book pages have always played a leading role here at Words and Pictures, and I've dabbled in altering books right from the very beginning - once I'd broken through the initial resistance to desecrating such precious objects.  I've come to the conclusion that the unwanted ones and those which are falling apart deserve a new life.







I was inspired by Helen Chilton's use of a die to cut the niche in her book - I'd hacked mine out with a knife when I created my own first book niche, Her Light Extends, but it turned out not to be that simple.  My book wouldn't fit through my BigShot!

I'd planned to use an Oval Mover and Shaper, but there was no way to get the thick steel-rule die and the book into a sandwich to go through. 









I turned instead to a tag-shaped Thinlit, and eventually managed to get some pages cut by doubling the book back on its own spine so it was narrow enough to go through, placing one cutting pad a number of pages down and one over the top.

When I'd cut about 10 pages I gave up and finished the rest with my knife!  The indentations left by the thin die on the opposite page also dictated some of what followed...






I started with a wash of gesso, and stamped the lovely birds and grasses along the bottom of the pages.  I also used French Roast Fresco paint to deepen the niche with shadows as well as to distress the edges, drawing the eye inwards.











I then used Tumbled Glass and Stormy Sky Distress Sprays, spritzing and wiping back, and then spattering ink droplets by unscrewing the lid and tapping the hose with my finger.













Since the coat of gesso is light and the ink is translucent, there's always a hint of the book page words to be found underneath.













I chose a Hot Picks image to go inside my niche.  (Weirdly, though the Hot Picks are my joint favourite PaperArtsy stamps - alongside Lynne Perrella - there hadn't been a single one amongst my chosen projects in the round-up... so I needed one!)

He's stamped on tissue paper and glued into position.













I love how the Hot Picks tie in and echo one another.












How great is it that one of my favourite PaperArtsy stamps of all time - the birds and grasses, stamped along the foot of the pages here...














... are also there on the top of the Phrenology head from some of the latest releases?!














Despite all the words on the pages, I wanted some extra words to fulfil that part of the Niche/Sprays/Words brief.  One of the trimmed out pages forms the word tag.  I used it to mop up some ink and paint and then stamped and embossed the Tim Holtz sentiment.













The cogs and gears from some of the summer Hot Picks releases offer great corner and framing detailing.












And since they're there in stamped form, what more excuse could I need for adding them in metal embellishment form too?















The cover of the book was red until I gave it a few coats of soft brown paint...











... and there are some more of the grasses and birds appear along the bottom edges - stamped and clear-embossed.













I spritzed some Ground Espresso Distress Spray onto it which gave me a mottled distressed look which I really like... 










... and I added some white spatter to continue the effect.















One of my favourite things about using old books is that you benefit from their character.  This embossed figure in the cover is a beautiful detail...















... though that doesn't stop me adding a bit more character and antiquity for good measure!









So, a few more close-ups for you, and another project collected in to my virtual scrapbook here at Words and Pictures.


Over the next few months there will be quite a few "encores" going on, as I'll be away from my craft desk for quite lengthy periods of time.  I hope you'll bear with me as I gather projects shared elsewhere for Design Team or Guest Designer duties and bring them under this one roof.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I'll see you again soon.

A book is a garden, an orchard, a store house, a party, a company by the way, a counsellor, a multitude of counsellors.
Henry Ward Beecher

Books are a uniquely portable magic.
Stephen King

48 comments:

Shirley Chillman said...

Loads of fabby pics of a very exquisite piece Alison. Love the tip for using a die on the book. Another stunner.

Warm crafty hugs from Shirl x x x
ShirlsCards.

brenda said...

A very thought provoking creation Alison and the blends of blue and brown never fail to work on your vintage inspired pieces of artwork.

B x

Team Clark said...

Wow, Alison! All of the details, however subtle, make this layout truly fantastic! This is stamping at its finest, love how you've used each and every stamp. Hugs, Autumn

Astrid Maclean said...

Fantastic Alison, love how you created the niche ( well and everything else)!! Both the in- and the outside look fabulous!! That bespectacled phrenology head never fails to disappoint!!

Anke said...

Fantastic work, Alison.

Joi at RR said...

Oh my gracious - what an INCREDIBLY WONDERFUL project Alison. Wow. It's STUNNINGLY INTRIGUING inside and out. WOW. Going back to enjoy the pictures some more!! j.

Hettie said...

What a beauty Alison. I love the stamping you have done and the splattering.
You have reminded me I have one partly started with a book I bought from Prague. I must find it and finish it.
Hugs
xx

Paper Profusion said...

Stunning inside and out Alison! I always love when you return to this colour palette and nature stamps. You did a great job cutting out the niche and the cover is beautifully aged. Super make! Have a lovely weekend - tis v chilly over here. Nicola x

Corrie Herriman said...

As usual it is pretty awesome !
Corrie x

Inky and Quirky said...

Wow absolutely stunning,love this one Alison
Hugs
Donna xxx

chrissie said...

I love the way you turn old books into new treasures Alison. This ones very beautiful and unusual as well

Love Chrissie xx

Helen said...

What a very clever way to cut your niche out of the book! The end results are fantastic.

Juliz Design Post said...

Wow Alison, I love how you have altered this book it looks incredible. I have always fancied giving this a go......I guess on the to do list.
Julie x

Margik said...

What a fabulous altered book Alison. The combination of colours is very beautiful as always. Simply stunning work!
Mar xx

Meggymay said...

This looks stunning Allison, it will be a keeper for years to come.
Yvonne xx

Julia Aston said...

Absolutely beautiful Alison - you make it look so easy - thanks for sharing all the details - I love all of the stamps that you used on this wonderful book art! Julia xx

Lynn Price said...

Oooh, I love this - the colors, the splatter, the stamping, the details.....all yummy!! I am astounded at your use of a thinlit die!! Wow!! I love books, and niches, and this is fabulous food for thought in that direction. love seeing your work anytime, encore or no..... so bring them on! And safe travels - xxx Lynn

Kirsten said...

Stunning piece.

Florence said...

Fantastic project. Always in awe! Have a lovely weekend.
Flo x

Marci said...

I LOVE the cover! It is beautiful. Of course the inside is wonderful, too. I don't think I would have the patience to cut out all those pages but I am glad you did. The colors you used fit the project so well.

Lisa Minckler said...

It's unbelievably fantastic Alison!! I get so involved in your writing that during the whole cut out the pages part, I really began to feel that the struggle was real! LOL.. I'm so glad you conquered that created a truly fabulous piece of artwork. Those are just the greatest stamps and I will be heading over to see if I can find them. Transferring on tissue paper is so smart, love how that all worked out for you, inside and out!! Thanks so much for all your inspiration.
Lisa :)

Willy said...

Wowww love this book, thanks for sharing this!!

Buttons said...

Brilliant to see this come together Alison and WOW! what a result! I love the niche and that fabulous head, ooh and the cover too! Jenny x

Almo said...

Fabulous book Alison, clever way of cutting out the niche and I like the way you have used the marking on the opposite side to mirror the shape of the niche for the wording. I also love the way you have used the birds and grasses inside and out to tie it all together. Mo x

Julie Ann Lee said...

I loved this when I saw it on PaperArtsy's blog, Alison. It's been absolutely fascinating to hear how you created it, especially that niche. When I first started to craft I went to a class on altered books and we hacked out our niches with craft knives, constantly having to change blades! It would never have occurred to me to use a die-cut. Thank you so much for the lovely and very interesting comment you left over at my blog!What an experience to be involved in the work of a craftsman like that and to feel that you had contributed to a project by modelling for him. Thank you for all you share. xx

Kelly Neis said...

oooh thanks for the tutorial! I always loved the cut out books, they are so fun to create with. Yours is gorgeous in browns and blues, my favorite colors. It is light and whispy. I love the tattered book and edges. Happy New Years Alison.
Hugs Kelly

Lys Scrap said...

Just fabulous! The inside as the outside. What a fantastic life you gave to this od book, full of mystery too...

Princess Judy Palmer said...

The cool blues and browns of this are very soothing. You must be training my inner artist's eye or something because I noticed the birds in grasses on the bottom matching the ones on top of the head before you pointed it out. Great cogs and gears and that splattered white distressing. It is all wonderful!

Mona Pendleton said...

Wow Alison! What a gorgeous project! I can't believe you put that through the die cut machine! Love it! So artistic and creative!! Thanks for the never ending inspiration!

Barbara Schiassi said...

You always amaze me, this project is a real work of art! Wonderful! Barbarayaya

Gibby Frogett said...

What a fantastic project Alison and just what I needed to inspire me to finish my half carved (history of cheeses I think) book. I have a bit of carpel tunnel/RSI so the cutting bit hard... I'd wondered before if I could cut the pages out to put through die cutting machine and somehow glue everything back in without it all falling apart...
Thanks for sharing the great info and photos.... Gill xx

Maggie said...

Fabulous altered book Alison as always great details and techniques, love the cover make over I still struggle with altering book....but getting better as crafting needs win over lol.
Thanks as always for sharing step by step for inspiration, and for taking the time to visit my blog much appreciated.
MaggieH😊

maj. said...

What a sensationally lovely artwork Alison!!!

sam21ski said...

Fantastic niche xx

Jackie P Neal said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial Alison!
I have a question, do you adhere all the other pages together? and if so, with what?
I think this is just fabulous truly!!
Happy Sunday my friend!
xoxo Jackie

craftytrog said...

Great tutorial Alison xx

butterfly said...

For Jackie - and anyone else who's interested:

On the book page gluing front - I sometimes brush matte medium onto the page edges, and round the inside of the niche, but mostly trust to the gesso to do the job. If there's a particular place where the pages keep coming open, I might brush some glue between those pages - but usually the gesso/medium and then paint on the outside edges is enough. Hope that helps.

Thanks so much for all the lovely comments everybody.
Alison xx

Sandy said...

As always, beautifully made and very creative - especially that would be man person on the right side of the page. You know the one, he looks like he has hair growing out of his head.
I am rather sorry to say that old books found here in next to new shops have become quite expensive.
Sandy xx

Julia said...

So beautiful Alison. I'm hoping your work will inspire me with my alpha dictionary project this year. I love the words showing through the images. This book is a real treasure.
Julia x

pearshapedcrafting said...

Wow! What a treat this is to come home to! I love how you made the niche but oh those spattery parts are just oh so beautiful - mine mainly come out like blobs!!! Hugs,Chrisx

Kay Wallace said...

What a wonderful projects, both inside and out! You have used my favorite color palette (of which I seem to never, ever tire). Love this. You have inspired me to try! Mwah!

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Absolutely AMAZING Alison - I am thrilled about it!!!!

Coco said...

Wooooow!!! Stunning art and altered book, love love to bits this one again!!!!!!!!
I will keep in mind your idea of using a die-cut to create the niche...
Thanks Alison, you are among the ones who have really all my GRATITUDE for sharing your art so well and constantly, and for the magical beauty of your works, so stunning all the time!!!
I wish you a lovely day, hugs
Coco xx

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

So beautiful Alison, I remember seeing your wonderful altered book over at Paper Artsy and delighted to see the details here! Gorgeous colours as always and love that your favourite grass stamp is echoed on the phrenology head, perfect! Thanks so much for sharing it, Deb xo

Etsuko Noguchi said...

Wonderful book work Alison!! This project idea is awesome, steam punk and nature has issued a magical atmosphere. I love this. xx

A Pink said...

Fabulous! Alison both inside and out . So inspiring . x

Brenda Brown said...

Fabulous altering and a great look to both the inside and outside.
hugs Brenda xxx

Marjie Kemper said...

What a beauty! Love your deep niche and the embellishing inside and out.